Some frequently-asked questions about gas safety in catering premises:
Why is gas safety important?
Having your gas appliances installed by a competent person and keeping them regularly serviced and maintained will prevent fire and explosion, the production of dangerous carbon monoxide and will ensure that your staff have a safe and comfortable working environment.
What is the law on gas safety?
The relevant law is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The first set of regulations (PUWER) apply to all equipment used in the workplace, including cooking equipment. The gas safety regulations set out additional requirements for equipment using either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and any flues or ventilation systems associated with them.
What do I have to do?
- You must have a suitable maintenance scheme in place for your gas appliances
- You must only use a competent Gas Safe registered engineer to install, service and maintain gas appliances
- You must ensure that manufacturer’s instructions are followed
- You must train your employees to use equipment safely
- You must have your gas appliances inspected annually by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer
- You must keep the gas safety record left by the engineer for inspection by our officers
We have designed a set of “House Rules” to cover everything you need to do and you can download it here in pdf format - House Rules: Gas Safety in Catering Premises.
There is more information in the HSE’s leaflet Catering Information Sheet 23 (rev3): Gas safety in catering and hospitality.
Who can I use to work on my gas appliances?
You are required by law only to use a competent gas engineer to install, inspect, service, maintain or repair any gas appliance, whether you use natural gas or LPG.
How can I check an engineer is competent?
- Search for a suitable engineer on www.gassaferegister.co.uk
- Phone Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 and ask for help finding an engineer
- Check the Gas Safe ID card of the engineer who visits your premises:
- That it is in date and has the security hologram
- That the photograph matches the person carrying it
- That the engineer is competent for Commercial/Catering and for the type of gas in your premises (natural gas or LPG)
Can I light gas appliances manually?
Yes, you can, but you must have carried out a risk assessment and identified a safe system of work and trained your staff to follow the safe system of work.
There is more information in the HSE’s leaflet Catering Information Sheet 23 (rev2): Gas safety in catering and hospitality.
Are there any requirements about ventilation?
Yes, kitchen ventilation is required to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Catering and cooking can produce significant quantities of fumes and vapours as well as large amounts of heat. Ventilation is necessary to remove these and discharge them to a safe external location. This is usually achieved by mechanical extraction via a canopy hood installed over the cooking appliances. The ventilation system should also provide general ventilation throughout the kitchen. It is particularly important to provide adequate make-up air for gas-fired appliances.
New ventilation systems must be interlocked to the gas supply so that the gas cannot be turned on unless the extract ventilation is running.
There is more information in the HSE’s leaflet Catering Information Sheet 10 (rev1):Ventilation of kitchens in catering establishments.
What are the danger signs with gas appliances?
- Yellow or orange flames rather than blue flames
- Soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances
- Pilot lights that frequently blow out
- Increased condensation inside windows
If you see any of these signs, turn off the gas appliances and do not use them again until they have been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
What are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms include tiredness, drowsiness, headaches, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, pains in the chest, breathlessness, stomach pains, erratic behaviour and visual problems. It can be mistaken for illnesses like flu. If you or anyone else at your establishment gets any of these symptoms you should always consider carbon monoxide as a possible cause. If not dealt with promptly, carbon monoxide in the air can and does lead to unconsciousness and death. If anyone has these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately and inform the doctor that carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected.
If you think an appliance might be producing carbon monoxide, open all the doors and windows, turn off the gas appliances and do not use them again until they have been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Can I contact an inspector for more advice?
Yes, contact your local Environmental Health office for further information.